By Nana Bram…..
ONCE AGAIN, the news coming from football circles is not so pleasant. The premier league in Ghana has been slapped with injunction, thereby putting the start of the 2017/2018 league in complete disarray.
To start with, one wonders why a league, like all other leagues elsewhere in the world, that should have started around September, 2017 and ended in the middle of June, 2018, should be so ill-planned that it was scheduled to start in January, 2018. At what point in time then would this league end for the 2018/2019 programme to commence? Your guess is as good as mine. There is complete mess as far as football administration in Ghana is concerned.
We were all expecting the league to start in January, 2018; at least that was what they told us and we took it coolly, in good faith. Come January, 2018 and we heard nothing from the corridors of football administrators of Ghana. Then came the bombshell on February, 05, 2018 and it was that an injunction had been slapped on the GPL by an aggrieved party for which reason the league can’t start for now. Blimey!
Fans and analysts
Frankly speaking, to several football fans and scores of football analysts in Ghana, this is no news at all. Several people have given up on Ghana football so much so that news of this nature is no news to them at all. They are not surprised.
And it’s because the administrators of football in this country have run out of ideas and are not up to scratch any longer; yet they won’t leave the scene.
The current President has been in office for years but within this period, colts’ football has witnessed a deep nose-dive and nobody will dispute this. Women’s soccer is half-heartedly supported as their coaches sometimes go without their salaries for months. The Black Stars too, the darling team of the current leadership of Ghana Football Association (GFA) has also not won any cup within this period although they have come close on several occasions. What does this tell us?
This tells us that there must be change in the leadership of the GFA so others can also try their skills on the job since wisdom doesn’t reside in the heads of only one person or one group of people. Maybe if we have a change, the new chaps will succeed where others have not succeeded or even they may be lucky to win a cup where others have not been so lucky to win a trophy. There certainly must be a change at the GFA set-up.
You may recall that the current leadership of the GFA first came into office in 2005, a year before the World Cup in Germany and they were to hold office for four years. In 2009, instead of holding an election to renew their mandate or to be kicked out, something dramatic happened.
I have said this on several occasions and I will say it again. You see, while we were all looking elsewhere and minding our individual businesses, they, ie., GFA members, a handful of them, amended the GFA constitution to allow them to continue in office. So, they stayed on without anybody saying a word till the Nations’ Cup in Angola and the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.
That had never happened before in the annals of the GFA and it was unprecedented. Nyaho-Tamakloe left when his time was due; Alhaji Jawula left after four years in office as GFA President; Ben Kwofie also left after four years; but not so with the current crop of administrators.
Nobody will grumble if their continued stay in office is yielding positive results. But that has not been the case. As a matter of fact, football in Ghana has seen worse days since the present crop of leaders at the GFA took over, apart from the near-misses of the Black Stars.
The Black Stars are players who have reached their stardom on their own initiatives and hard work and not through any strategy employed by the GFA to help them in any way. And then, when they have made it to stardom, lazy coaches go round picking them as if they had a hand in their becoming stars.
Ghanaian football fans have lost so much interest in Ghana football that the longer the present crop of administrators hold on to office, the more the disinterest will fester.
Most Ghanaians cannot mention the names of the players of Accra Hearts of Oak; they don’t even know them; nor of Kotoko; nor of AshGold and several other teams that play in the Ghana premier league.
Instead, mention Chelsea and a six year old Ghanaian boy can tell you the names of all the players and even the wives of those of them who are married. They can do the same for Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Barcelona and all the European teams in the various leagues.
Vote with feet
Why is this so? The answer is obvious. Ghanaians have voted with their feet when it comes to football in this country. At least, that is the position now; it may change in the near future but for now this is what we have on our hands.
Ghanaians no longer go to our national football stadia to watch our local players in action but elect to go to pay to watch European teams playing and place a bet too on them. What can be more appetizing than this to them?
And this is because our league is not well planned and implemented. Unlike other leagues which go the full haul till end of May or thereabouts, our league doesn’t start and end according to the scheduled programme.
Our league suffers from intermittent suspensions, intermittent truncations, unnecessary litigations and what have you. So, before the league comes to an end real interest in the Ghanaian game has died off.
You can’t execute football administration this way and expect good results. Yet, there are examples throughout the world to follow. Why are we not following the good things in the world concerning football?
I’m afraid the GPL will continue to be in disarray until the current crop of administrators give way for others to take charge. They are a disappointment.